Police warning as double-murder suspect arrested


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The Independent Online

Detectives have warned families to check the well-being of friends and relatives who may have come into contact with a double-murder suspect.

Cleveland Police issued the unusual warning after the arrest of James Allen in Leeds yesterday.

Mr Allen, 36, was arrested after being spotted by an off-duty officer and is being held on suspicion of murder in connection with the deaths of Colin Dunford, 81, in Middlesbrough, and Julie Davison, 50, in Whitby.

His arrest followed a huge manhunt after Mr Dunford and Ms Davison were found dead on Monday and Wednesday last week respectively. Both were in their own homes and had suffered serious head injuries. Detectives said there had been no sign of forced entry.

Detective Chief Superintendent Gordon Lang, of Cleveland Police, said there was no information that Mr Allen may have committed other offences. But he added: "Please check on people, friends, relatives and let's make sure everybody's OK. In this inquiry we're investigating two deaths. Without a doubt, this is a dangerous man so I think it's prudent to ensure everybody's safe ."

He issued a new appeal for anyone with information on the route allegedly taken by Mr Allen to come forward. The bike used by Mr Allen at the start of the week was found on Thursday in Scarborough and they did not know how he had travelled to Leeds, Detective Chief Superintendent Lang said. "It's important we fill in those gaps. We continue to appeal for sightings."

He praised the off-duty officer who spotted Mr Allen.The officer, who was driving to work, recognised him and watched him for several minutes until his colleagues arrived to help.

Police then chased him on foot before arresting him. Mr Allen will now be questioned in West Yorkshire.